Hockey in Coleraine was given a great boost this week with Coleraine Hockey Club’s U-15 Team claiming the runners up spot at Ulster Hockey’s Development National Finals Day.
The team progressed through their group by beating Grovenor 3-0, Ards 1-0 and drawing 0-0 against Banbridge.
The semi final against Belfast Harlequins was a real roller coaster with Coleraine taking a two goal lead thanks to goals from Erin Anderson and Grace Bradley, Harlequins replied and then equalised to take the game into extra time.
Still not to be separated it went to three penalty runs each, Erin Anderson, Olivia Mullan and Ciara Richmond all scoring but the hero was Charlotte Donnavan who stepped up to the mark to pull of a great save to put Coleraine in the final.
The final against Mossley was a close encounter, Coleraine taking the lead through a fericous Jill Leslie strike from a tight angle and then Mossley coming back strong to take the lead and hold on after constant Coleraine pressure.
The Coleraine team can be proud of this achievement on the national stage. The team was indebited to their stand in goal keepers Emily Caskey and Charlotte Donnavan, excellent defending from Sasha Richardson and Olivia Mullan and a strong midfield unit of Erin Anderson, the powerful Jill Leslie and skilful Natalia Rygielska.
Up front Grace Bradley was a constant goal threat along with hard working Helen McCallum. The team was expertly lead by team captain Ciara Richmond who’s strong tackling and leadership skills on and off the field was an inspiration to all.
It’s exciting times for Coleraine Hockey Club with this fantastic group of young players who look forward with anticipation to showing off their skills on the Club’s new home pitch at the Rugby Club which should be ready for the start of next season.